Forbes magazine and SpendingPulse, the economic research arm of MasterCard, have created a snapshot of how Americans spend their money by tracking spending patterns from 2007 until 2009, a very bad economic year.
Overall discretionary spending for 2009 totaled 1.13 trillion in 2009, slightly down from $1.16 trillion in 2008, according to SpendingPulse. Projections for 2010 show that total spending will drop again to $1.03 trillion.
The survey tracks 10 categories: air travel, auto parts and service, electronics and appliances, furniture, lodging, apparel, department stores, jewelry, luxury (excluding jewelry) and restaurants.
Spending on jewelry totaled $27.5 billion in 2009, a year-over-year decline of 7.4 percent. Jewelry accounts for 2.4 percent of annual discretionary spending. Meanwhile, overall luxury spending (excluding jewelry) in 2009 fell 9 percent year-over-year to $10.1 billion. This category accounted for 0.9 percent of total discretionary spending.
The story also looks at how citizens of 18 other countries spend their money using figures from the World Bank's most recent International Comparison Program study. This data doesn’t include jewelry and luxury spending.